As a young woman learning to adapt to the American cultural norms- it was difficult for me to balance the input I was getting at home, while receiving the society messages. At home all I heard from my parents was work help pay the bill, college is only for rich people and society was telling me to go college you can’t do anything without a college degree, something that was always on my mind. Growing up in America, the daughter of Salvadoran parents I never truly felt American or Salvadoran. My parents came to America illegally due to a war that terrorized El Salvador.
My parents were seeking freedom to take full advantage of the true American dream. But there version of the American dream is to work and pay bills which doesn’t involve having a proper education. But my dream is to get a higher education not be struggling financially like my family and many other immigrant families. Like many other immigrants families my parents struggled to obtain a dissent job and to fit in the American society. Our society may consider the immigrant community as a low income, not worthy of going far in our education, a perception that made me feel a shame of my Hispanic heritage.
I don’t want to be of shame of being low income I want to go more far in life than being considered low income I want to live to expand my education. As Malcolm X says in Coming to an Awareness of Language “to live to learn” I want to live to expand my education level to be thought as an intelligent person. Coming from an immigrant family has inspired me to help other families that were and are in the same situation as my family was in. My parents had to work from an early age and have always told me school isn’t going to take you anywhere and they didn’t think it was important to get an education.
My oldest sister Roxana had to drop out of high school and work due to my dad’s traditional ways that school isn’t important and that you had to work to help support the family but my sister Roxana doesn’t want that for me, she wants me to as successful as I can. My sister Roxana always made sure to make school an important part in my life, she wants me take full advantage of all the opportunities she couldn’t get. She gave me the motivation that I needed; my parents didn’t give to me to be a great student to go far in my education.
My parents wake up early and fall asleep late because they work long hours, therefore they do not have time to be involved in my education. My parents didn’t have the chance to finish school, therefore they are not educated enough to have a better job. Unfortunately, my parents expect me to be a traditional house wife this mentality is due to lack of education in my house hold and family. . All through out middle school and high school I can recall my parents telling me I need to work and not to attend college, they would tell me that “College isn’t going to take me nowhere.
My parents thought Latinos don’t go to college we work. As Fredrick Douglass states in his is novel “An American slave” “That education and slavery were incompatible with each other. ” I can relate when he says a slave having an education isn’t common that what my parents thought of Latinos being educated. My parents and I always had a rough relationship they always wanted me to be working until I found a right husband who is able to provide for me. In my opining this is old school I want to be a independent women who does not have to depend on a men for money.
Due to this my parents and I always fought disagree in many things. While my Sister Roxana agree with me that is a good idea to attend college and not depend on no men. The summer before I enter senior year in high school I had a lot to think about if I wanted to apply to college or not. But without the support of my parents it was hard for me to get motivated to apply for college. They’ve never really been supportive of my plans to attend college; they always thought that it would be best for me to go to work and help my family with the bills .
My mom works in a factory and she only makes 14,000 a year. I don’t want that for me working long hours for little pay. October came around; the time students can start applying to California State Universities. My oldest sister Roxana came home one day from work and saw I was sad she asked what was wrong I told her I was not sure if I should go to college or began to work after High School. She gave me good advice to do what makes me happy, to give a better life to my future children, a better life my parents couldn’t give me and my siblings.
When I wanted to give up on college applications my sister was there by my side, to keep me pushing. I have seen through the years the struggles my sister struggle being a high school drop out. I didn’t want that for my future and in today’s economy the right thing is to go to college and earn a degree for a career. My sister’s struggle has given me motivation to be able to help her financially later in life. When my parents found out I apply to college it was on February when I got accepted to my first college csula.
I was walking home and I check my e-mail I saw I got accepted to csula I ran home to tell my sister I got accepted forgetting my parents didn’t know. I ran inside my house yelling I got accepted and my sister came running to give me a hug. My dad heard all the noise we were doing came from his room and said “what’s going on” and I try to act like I didn’t hear him my sister Roxana said ”it’s time to tell him even if gets mad”. My first thought was oh crap he going to yell at me and make me cry.
I told him I apply to college a while back and I got accepted to a college and I’m planning to go there next school year. He stood there for about five minutes in complete silence and out of know where he just left. Two weeks later he called me into the living room and told me he didn’t approve with my decision to attend college and he never will he said I’m not thinking about the family just thinking about myself. Tell this day he does not approve of my decision to attend college.
My parent’s lack of support towards my decision to attend college has motivated me to do well but with the support of my older sister Roxana made it easier for me. She is the reason why I am going to college, to make her proud, and to take full advantage of the opportunity I have been given. What motivates me the most is how negative my parents are towards my decision to attend college. I want to prove my parents wrong that is worth getting an education and with all the help of my sister I want to give her thanks by doing well in college.
I want to prove my parents wrong that is not a waste of time to go to college and better my future. In the story Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, An American slave by Fredrick Douglass states “but while they relived me one difficulty, they brought on another even more painful than the ones of which I was relived” I can relate to this by in college many obstacles are going to overcome in my path to graduate college. College wont be a piece of cake it would be struggle everyday to keep up with all the work, studying, and exams. But I’m keep it pushing because I am motivated to have successes.
Most of all I want to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind into and to get a higher education. There have been so many things that I have wanted to accomplish and having my sister has just brought them more to the surface. My college education is something that I want to pursue not only to better myself but to be able to always be able to provide for my family. Another factor that motivates me to learn is the fact that I actually have the desire to learn. I truly believe that at this point in my life I am completely ready to continue my education. I am ready to learn and feel a sense of accomplishment.